EMILY BARKER with Carducci String Quartet


Write > Record>Release>Tour>Repeat

This is the usual cycle of making and releasing a record that I have come to love and live by. When the pandemic hit, I was just about to hit the green light on ‘Release’. We stayed home and questioned whether releasing an album was possible without the ‘Tour’ step. I did go ahead and release A Dark Murmuration of Words, but without performing the songs in front of people, it took a long time to get around to the idea of moving on despite ‘Write’ being a logical way to spend the time at home. I just couldn’t move on. So I didn’t.

What I did do was to record alternative versions with Lukas Drinkwater at Polyphonic studios with a poem called ‘Murmuration Songs’ woven through (that album’s called ‘Flight Path Rhymes’), a livestream version at Brunel Goods Shed in Stroud with my band (now available as ‘Live at Brunel Goods Shed’), solo versions in a room at the Science & Arts Centre in Stroud to send to various online festivals…

…AND I performed a few of the songs live at The Cavern in Exeter (no crowd) to help raise money for ‘Music Feeds’ – an event to combat food poverty in the UK. The special thing about that performance (apart from it raising £1Million for the charity) was that composer, Joe Duddell (Elbow, Richard Hawley, New Order) arranged a score for Carducci String Quartet (one of the finest in the UK), to accompany all the artists.

The songs I chose for the performance were three from A Dark Murmuration of Words: ‘Sonogram’, ‘Any More Goodbyes’ and ‘The Woman Who Planted Trees’, along with one of my oldest songs, ‘Home’. As well as the outstanding string players, Lukas accompanied me on guitar and double bass and brought his typical brilliance.

Thank you to Lukas Drinkwater for mixing the songs and to Ian Stephenson for mastering them. Thank you to the awesome Carducci String Quartet and to Joe Duddell for his gorgeous arrangements. And thank you to Gill Ellis for inviting me to be a part of Music Feeds.

I decided to name this EP ‘A Dark Murmuration of Strings’ – finally bringing a close to the strangest of album cycles for me. I hope you enjoy listening.

Emily x

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